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Publishing chief hails ‘dramatic’ effect of Google’s payments for news

SimonBax-e1397149503811A regional publishing boss has praised the “dramatic and immediate effect” Google’s decision to start paying publishers for content has had on his business.

Clear Sky Publishing chief executive Simon Bax has revealed the Google News Showcase programme has enabled his group to hire another journalist.

Google launched the licensing agreement last year with publishers including Archant, DC Thomson, Iliffe Media, the Midland News Association, Newsquest, JPIMedia and Reach plc.

The tech giant has now revealed it has negotiated and signed deals with almost 240 news titles across the UK.

Local news publishers make up 93pc of the titles that have signed up to News Showcase, and Devon-based Clear Sky publishes newspapers including the Torbay Weekly and North Devon Gazette.

Simon, pictured, said: “Joining the Google News Showcase has had a dramatic and immediate effect as it has enabled us to hire an additional journalist, has elevated our standing within the community and has increased the team’s self-assurance.”

National World’s online editor Mark Thompson has also praised the scheme.

He said: “We believe it is vital that our stories, videos and images are given the value they deserve so that we can produce ever more insightful, reliable and relevant journalism for audiences all over the UK.

“News Showcase has enabled our teams based in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland to display their impressive work on a great platform and in a meaningful way.”

Ronan Harris, vice president and managing director of Google UK & Ireland, added: “We’re dedicated to continuing our contribution to and collaboration with the news ecosystem, supporting the open web and continuing to provide access to information in the UK and elsewhere.”